COMMENT

Manipulated institutions

Greece’s leftist opposition must not manipulate an institution as important as the President of the Republic for the sake of political ends.

Regrettably, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras appears to be mimicking the example of former Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou, who in 2009 forced early elections by refusing to endorse any of the presidential candidates.

Such a stratagem may yield some short-term partisan gains but can only damage the nation in the long run. All sides must learn how to respect the troubled country’s institutions – particularly Greece’s highest public office.

Our political system has in the past settled for mediocre choices that carried little weight at home as well as abroad. Karolos Papoulias’s successor ought to be elected by the current Parliament. At the same time, the next president must mark a step forward for the institution and by no means be the product of cynical political horse-trading.

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